Sarah's Story

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Sarah Ann Mettauer Summers, age 94, cherished, spirited, and loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, and friend to many, passed into eternal life and peace on Thursday, May 25, 2017. After living a very full and happy life, she slipped away peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face.
Known best during her childhood as Sam and later in life as Nana to nearly everyone, Sarah was loved and respected by many, and a force to be reckoned with strong, loving, kind, funny, fearless, beautiful, stylish and generous. Everyone gravitated to her zest for life, and her family was her everything. While each one is unique just as she was, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren carry forth her legacy bound by the unbridled love and connection of family.
Sarah was born on August 22, 1922, in Lufkin, Texas, to Ada Lee (Johnson) and Charles Mettauer. After graduating from Lufkin High School, she headed to the University of Texas at Austin. She was there for only one day when her father decided she was too young for such a big university and too far from home. He loaded her up, drove straight from Austin to Nacogdoches, Texas, and enrolled her at Stephen F. Austin State University. While she was a proud SFA Lumberjack, a piece of her heart always remained at UT Austin.
On a blind date in high school, Sarah met Frank Summers, the man she would eventually marry. Sarah and Frank were married on June 21, 1941, and began their family in 1942 with the birth of the first of three children. During their forty-five years of marriage, together they built a life and a family that was strong, close-knit and everlasting.
After mourning the loss of her beloved husband, Sarah decided she wouldnt let life pass her by and that she still had so much she wanted to see and do that they never had the opportunity to do together. So she uprooted the life shed always known in East Texas and returned to Austin to be closer to her children and grandchildren. And lived her life she did she danced, played poker and golf with her friends, always dressed to impress, joined the Red Hat Society, took the entire family to Disney World and skiing in Angel Fire, went to Europe and Germany and rooted tirelessly for her beloved Texas Longhorns. Anyone who met Sarah knew that her kids and family were her greatest treasures. She attended countless sports events, recitals and other activities and became a familiar figure cheering them on in the stands.
Sarahs generosity ran far and wide and she was dedicated to giving back and helping those in need. She took time to volunteer for the Center for Battered Women in Austin and Cherokee County as a compassionate presence in court. She was also recognized as a Texas Star Volunteer of the Year and served on the Board of Directors for the Texas State Railroad. As presidents of the Cherokee Heritage Society, Sarah and Frank were instrumental in bringing the historical railroad to Rusk and were also Citizens of the Year for the Rusk Chamber of Commerce. Sarah was also a lifetime member of the Texas Exes, the Longhorn Foundation and the SFA Alumni Association.
A proud woman, mom, grandmother, businesswoman, philanthropist and American, Sarah is survived by her daughter, Sally Summers Coke; daughter, Suzy Summers Valentine and partner, Scott Newton; son, James L. Summers II and wife, Lynn; grandchildren: James Lawson Coke and wife, Jude; Chelsea Valentine and husband, Aaron; Lauren Walters and husband, Wade; Austin Valentine and wife, Hallie; Sarah Marie Summers; Richard Elliott III and wife, Crystal; Larry Elliott and wife, Andrea; Cameron McElroy and wife, Andrea; and Collin McElroy and wife, Hillery. She has been blessed with 12 great grandchildren: Sydney and Quinn Walters, Jack and Bryson Coke, Daphne and Dahlia Valentine, Ethan McElroy, and Arionna, Richard IV, Benjamin, Mabel and Nathan Elliot. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and good friends, Paul and Lori Laney and family. She was preceded in death by her parents, five siblings, her husband, and her grandchild Chari Coke.
A memorial service and celebration of her life is being planned for June 24, 2017. For those interested in joining, please send a note to nana.celebration@gmail.com or visit www.wallacethompson.com/obituaries. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the Volunteer Council, Rusk State Hospital, 805 North Dickinson Drive, P. O. Box 318, Rusk, TX 75785-0318 or to the Womens Center of East Texas at www.wc-et.org.
Published on June 2, 2017
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